We have met the enemy…and he is handsome

     Tonight’s guest entry – including the title, I’m quick to add! – is brought to you by none other than Patrick Antle, he of the can’t-miss-it fist-pump and the karate chop.

     That Beau! I pointed him out to someone looking at the Jeopardy! site with me, and she gushed about how “cute” he is.
     Without further ado…Patrick!:
     Two weeks ago, America’s favorite railroad mechanic, Reid Rodgers, lost to 2-time Jeopardy! champion Jessamine Price in heartbreaking fashion when he forgot to cross out a letter while editing his Final Jeopardy! response.  That single letter cost Reid dearly.  Now, having met the man, I can attest that he is a friendly and amiable man, but for the purposes of this narrative, we must pretend that he is not.  We must pretend that upon leaving the studio, Reid placed a curse on the remaining contestants.  The following night, a handsome young man unseated the lovely Ms. Price, but was unable to hold onto a large lead the following night and subsequently lost the title.  And so it has continued for two weeks of unsuccessful title defenses.  We have only had one repeat winner in those two weeks, and that champion won on a botched prisoner’s dilemma and a game with a combined Coryat score of less than $20,000 (to the uninitiated, this means that the game was as torturous as one of the Saw films).  Not a single champion has seized the mantle, so to speak.  Last night’s champion, Margie, finished with a total of only $6,199.  Would she break the Curse of Reid and vanquish her opponents, or will low scores and/or missed opportunities continue to rule the day?

     Her opponents were Chuck, a plastic surgeon who reminded me of the evil Gestapo guy in Raiders of the Lost Ark whose face is melted by the Ark of the Covenant, and “aspiring actor” Beau, who can be best described as a “tall drink of water”.  He makes the aforementioned “handsome young man” look like Quasimodo.  Beau made some sort of charming thumbs-up gesture that was unfortunately blocked by his name during introductions, and has fantastic handwriting. (Swoon)
     Chuck started the game like a house of fire, running the “quotations” category, but he was hamstrung by a too-early Daily Double.  The “Adler” category was fun – overall, this was a well-written round that I enjoyed playing along with. 
     During storytime, Chuck retold “The Cask of Amontillado”, with his cat cast as Fortunato.  Beau discussed the time he was hired to be a clown for a sad and lonely child’s birthday party, to which no guests showed up.  A question to that child’s parents – why not cancel the party if no one has RSVP’ed?  That’s more like an elaborate prank or plan to get your daughter to no longer hate clowns than a party.  Finally, Margie discussed being a science teacher. 
     The TV category was fun, and I’m pleased that the “aspiring actor” got the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” clue.  Chuck revealed his favorite show to be the fabulously dark “Breaking Bad”.  When this is combined with his resemblance to one of the iconic film villains of the last 50 years, he’s OK in my book.  And he’s good at Jeopardy! too! At halftime, he had a solid lead, with $8000 to Beau’s $4400 and Margie’s $2800. 
     The Double Jeopardy! round was also well-written – the writers are finally back in my good graces after some iffy behavior last week.  What I thought would be the turning point in the game occurred when Beau missed “commercialism” (he answered “consumerism” – tough ruling, in my opinion), and the next clue revealed was a Daily Double.  Despite being goaded by Alex, Margie made a middle-of-the-road bet (Which one can certainly question, given the game situation and the category and clue value – middle-category word clues can often be deduced during the extra time provided by the DD).  She got the too-easy “multinational” response and was back in contention, while Beau found himself in third place. 
     Following that, there was plenty of back and forth action, as Beau and Margie ate away at Chuck’s lead, with Chuck working hard to stay ahead.  Lots of good gets by these players, who did not wilt under the bright lights.  Chuck began to hunt for the last DD, and his strategy paid off, as he found it with only a few clues remaining.  He bet small, assumedly using it as a block, content to hold his lead going into Final Jeopardy!.  And he did more than that, finishing strong to head into FJ! with an $8000 lead, with $18,800 to Beau’s $10,800 and Margie’s $8,200. 
     The final category was 20th Century Novels, and the clue was as follows:
“Books leapt and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers” is a line from this novel.
     I immediately assumed it would be a triply correct response (an instaget, in J! parlance).  Easy peasy lemon squeasy.  But things are often not so easy during the most terrifying 30 seconds imaginable – those 30 seconds while the “Think!” music is being played.  I can attest to this personally.  Beau went back and dotted his board as the camera panned, adding what, you might ask?   One of about ten different flourishes on the various letters of his response!  Penmanship is not a lost art, apparently. 
     Margie and Beau both got “Farenheit 451”, but Chuck wrote down Gunter Grass’ “The Tin Drum”. I have not read the novel, so I cannot attest to the presence or absence of book burning.  When the smoke had cleared, however, Beau was our new champion, and the Curse of Reid lives on for another night! 
Alex mentioned the “curious” wagering by tonight’s contestants, and I will leave it at that.  Curious, indeed!!  (Refer to last evening’s post for more on wagering.)  And speaking of thejeopardyfan.com, this game was of particular importance to readers of this site, because it marked the reveal of our hero’s main antagonist, the champion against whom Ms. Kenkel squared off against.  If we are writing the Chronicles of Jeanie, this is the prequel. 
Good luck to Jeanie!  Don’t get distracted by the square jaw and dreamy eyes!